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Israel says will build five new communities in Negev desert

The vast majority of Israel’s Bedouin population live in Negev



Reuters file
Reuters file

By AFP

Published: Sun 27 Mar 2022, 8:16 PM

The Israeli government announced Sunday its intention to establish five new communities — one of them for Bedouins — in the Negev desert, as a “historic summit” with Arab diplomats began there.

“Five communities will be built in the northern Negev,” a statement from the interior ministry said, noting that one of them “will be established for the Bedouin population”.

The Bedouin belong to the community of Israeli Arabs, descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land when Israel was founded in 1948.

The vast majority of Israel’s Bedouin, approximately 270,000, live in the arid Negev in the south of the country, on the fringes of Israeli society.

“Our goal is to return the state to the Negev,” the interior ministry statement quoted Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as saying. “A place Israel is present in, in sovereignty as well as resources.”

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Meanwhile on Sunday, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid hosted his counterparts from three Arab states, alongside Egypt’s top diplomat and the US secretary of state, at a Negev resort, in a gathering that Israel called “historic”.


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